Female Trouble (Waters, 1974) & Desperate Living (Waters, 1977):
Roxy Bar and Screen, London Bridge, 7.30pm
This is part of the Scala Forever season, a programme of 111 films at 26 venues through to October 2 that will celebrate the wonderful Scala cinema at King's Cross which closed in 1993. Here is an article I wrote in the Guardian on the history of the cinema and the season and here are the details of all the movies and special events on offer, via the Scala Forever website.
There are other great films on today in the season, including a Marx Brothers double-bill at the Riverside, The Goonies from Nomad Cinema, Dr Strangelove at the Prince Charles and a Grindhouse pairing (Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Death Proof) at the Ritzy. All you need to know is here.
Chicago Reader review of Female Trouble:
'This 1975 feature is the best of John Waters's movies prior to Hairspray and his ultimate concerto for the 300-pound transvestite Divine, whose character will do literally anything—including commit mass murder—to become famous. As in all of Waters's early outrages, the technique is cheerfully ramshackle, but Divine's rage and energy make it vibrate like a sustained aria, with a few metaphors about the beauty of crime borrowed from Jean Genet. With Edith Massey and Mink Stole, as well as some doubling on the part of Divine that allows the star to have sexual congress with himself, giving birth to . . . guess who?'
Chicago Reader review of Desperate Living:
'In his first feature without Divine, John Waters finds himself without a moral center. This 1977 prepunk midnight shocker and scabrous fairy tale is full of deviant sexuality, violent excess, and plenty of other Waters regulars, including Liz Renay, Mary Vivian Pearce, Susan Lowe, Mink Stole as a murderous housewife, and Edith Massey as the Queen of the Underworld; there's also the hefty Jean Hill, who murders one hapless victim by sitting on his face.' 91 min.